BadgerSpot - Social Networking in Augmented Reality

Social networks and mobile telecommunication: New media that’s longing for new content – and Cinema 4D feeds the need …

According to media researchers, many aspects of everyday life will be digitally augmented in the not too distant future. Imagine wearing glasses and walking through a major city. As you look at your surroundings, elements only visible to you are projected onto your glasses, such as street names, names of companies residing in the buildings you pass, information about locations you want to visit and even a digital "bulletin board" on which visitors and users can leave their comments.

It can take years or even decades until such glasses - and the information needed to feed them - are available. A taste of what is to come, however, is already available from BadgerSpot in their iPhone app.

Key elements for this app are image templates that serve as posters, billboards or t-shirts. If placed at locations such as the entries to restaurants or clubs, an "augmented reality spot" is created. When viewed with the BadgerSpot iPhone app on the iPhone's touchscreen, the user will see a modified version of reality: An augmented reality in which – in this stage of development –  animated 3D characters live.

BadgerSpot, the creators of this app, are located in Memphis, Tennessee. They are constantly working on blurring the line more and more between reality and augmented reality. Currently, the effect is limited to billboards and posters displaying an entirely different content from reality when viewed with an iPhone. For example, a shadow silhouette on a billboard will be displayed as a completely modeled and animated 3D character.

All 3D characters as well as a dog, a warthog and a frog, were created entirely in Cinema 4D. Users are generally surprised when they see this augmented reality for the first time and wonder how it’s done. And BadgerSpot wants to take this concept much further with the introduction of the previously mentioned bulletin board, which will make it possible for neighborhoods, restaurants or nightclubs to create their own social networks. These networks can then be accessed via the user's iPhone, and soon with Android smart phones, and will be able to read and post information.

Everything else is currently still in development and all elements are, or the time being, comprised of comic-inspired 3D models in augmented reality.

These characters were created by Chris Magee, who is responsible for modeling and UV mapping in Cinema 4D as well as texture creation in BodyPaint 3D. “I always shied away from creating character rigs but this has changed with the introduction of Cinema 4D R13”, explained Chris. He is also looking forward to mastering many more rigs in Cinema 4D R13!
BadgerSpot web site 

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